‘Equality denied, Everything denied’, he wrote on FB.

Dalit JNU scholar from Tamil Nadu found dead reportedly hanged himself at friends place
news Education Monday, March 13, 2017 - 21:12

Just a year after University of Hyderabad scholar Rohith Vemula’s death, another death has shocked the student and academic community.

Muthukrishanan Jeevanantham (27), an alumnus of UoH and an MPhil student at the Centre for Historical Studies in the Jawaharlal Nehru University committed suicide by hanging himself at a friend’s place in Munirka Vihar.

A police team that reached the house past 5 pm had to force open the door to the room in which Muthukrishanan had hanged himself. He had gone to his friend’s house for lunch and later said he wanted to sleep. When he did not respond to his friend’s call in the evening, the police were called in.

Muthukrishanan, also a Dalit student, was a part of the Rohith Vemula movement in UoH.

The young man hailing from Salem wrote a poignant post on Facebook on March 10. He ended the post saying, “There is no Equality in M.phil/phd Admission, there is no equality in Viva – voce, there is only denial of equality, denying prof. Sukhadeo thorat recommendation, denying Students protest places in Ad – block, denying the education of the Marginal’s. When Equality is denied everything is denied.”

Reacting to Muthukrishanan's death, student activist and Rohith Vemula's friend Dontha Prasanth said, "This is a sad news for us, we are still in shock. I remember he joined UoH in 2012, but he always wanted to study in JNU. He tried several times, but last year he finally he managed to get through JNU. He was an active member of our Dalit movement. I still remember when we were socially boycotted and were forced to sleep in a make-shift tent on the campus, he used to visit us daily. This is a great loss to the community."

In a blog written last year after Rohith’s death, Muthukrishanan had recalled his meetings with Rohith and written profusely about his admiration for Radhika Vemula.

“I did not want to hurt her by recalling Rohith’s memories. I remembered myself with Rohith. I met Rohith six times. First time, I met Rohith at the south-campus shop com during a protest rally from the north campus. He was wearing a light gray color shirt, while me and prashanth  was in a black shirt. He was enthusiastically raising slogans. That time I wondered why I never raised slogans. May be the language barrier, I told myself. But I was amazed with his leadership skills," he wrote on his blog.

Condolences and angry messages have been pouring in on his Facebook. A student of JNU wrote, “An active political being and part of dalit organisations in HCU and JNU, he was a very pleasant and cheerful man who was one of the most hardworking persons I ever came across. JNU was his dream and after few failed attempts where he lost in interview for admission, last year he made it into through sheer perseverance." 

He had concluded his blog saying, “All intellectuals from marginalised communities will get arrested just for mocking fictional characters. At the same time, all the leading national institutes will be headed by people who cannot even clear the 10th standard exam. These people claim dissenters as anti-nationals and seditious. They are going to kill many Rohiths, like us, just for eating beef, for being rational, for being intellectually productive for the country. But we are the real sons of this land and after we are all killed, there will be no nation.

What are you waiting for to support an innocent mother?

Let us all, students from all over the world, become Radhika amma’s Rohith by supporting this anti-caste movement. Let us fight together to help the helpless mother.”


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